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Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age Hardcover – January 5, 2021
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Throughout our life, we look for ways to keep our minds sharp and effortlessly productive. Now, globetrotting neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta offers “the book all of us need, young and old” (Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Code Breaker) with insights from top scientists all over the world, whose cutting-edge research can help you heighten and protect brain function and maintain cognitive health at any age.
Keep Sharp debunks common myths about aging and mental decline, explores whether there’s a “best” diet or exercise regimen for the brain, and explains whether it’s healthier to play video games that test memory and processing speed, or to engage in more social interaction. Discover what we can learn from “super-brained” people who are in their eighties and nineties with no signs of slowing down—and whether there are truly any benefits to drugs, supplements, and vitamins. Dr. Gupta also addresses brain disease, particularly Alzheimer’s, answers all your questions about the signs and symptoms, and shows how to ward against it and stay healthy while caring for a partner in cognitive decline. He likewise provides you with a personalized twelve-week program featuring practical strategies to strengthen your brain every day.
Keep Sharp is the “must-read owner’s manual” (Arianna Huffington) you’ll need to keep your brain young and healthy regardless of your age!
—Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global
“Dr. Sanjay Gupta has the unique ability to translate the latest scientific research into accessible language we can all understand. Whether you’re concerned about memory loss or simply want to boost your mental acuity, Keep Sharp is an essential guide.”
—Gary Small, MD, Director, UCLA Longevity Center
“Gupta is brilliant at busting myths, allaying fears, and giving us the solutions we need to keep sharp throughout our lives.”
—Dean Ornish, MD, Founder & President, Preventive Medicine Research Institute
“This is a frontier where we can dramatically improve human life, and Keep Sharp is a helpful primer for anyone who wants to better understand brain function and how to preserve it.”
— Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“Keep Sharp will change how you think about your brain, how you care for it, and how you support its full potential.”
—David B. Agus, MD, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Illness
“This is the book all of us need, young and old!”
—Walter Isaacson, New York Times bestselling author of Steve Jobs
“Sanjay Gupta brilliantly crafts an actionable plan we can all follow. I feel sharper already.”
—Mehmet Oz, MD, Host, The Dr. Oz Show
“Keep Sharp shows it’s absolutely possible to take control of one’s brain health for life.”
—Richard Isaacson, MD, Director, Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at the Weill Cornell Memory Disorders Program
“In a steady, measured voice, [Gupta] presents a comprehensive view of the best that brain science has to offer to preserve and improve memory… A genuine source of practical knowledge and sympathy to those struggling with dementia and the family members who are primary caregivers.”
“[Gupta’s] optimism and the wealth of scientific information he corrals will embolden and comfort readers.”
About the Author
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (January 5, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1501166735
- ISBN-13 : 978-1501166730
- Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 1 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
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Top reviews from the United States
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Keep Sharp explains how the brain works and how our lifestyle impacts cognition. Dr Gupta has written it in a style that is easy to read and interesting. Some parts are quite technical but easy to follow. Please don't be afraid to read this book. It's comforting because it's real. It's not just hope, it's attainable.
Of special interest to me were the 12 myths and 5 pillars. Myths dispelled include being doomed to forget things as we age, only using 10% of our brains, the ability of crosswords to help keep us sharp, and many more.
The 5 Pillars are:
Each of these are included in the NEURO Plan (Nutrition, Exercise, Unwind, Restore, Optimize) but are approached from different angles. Keep Sharp offers even more tools and inspiration.
One of the last chapters offers hope for caregivers. I found it of particular interest since I take care of Mom. Financial and emotional concerns are covered. But it also tells the story of a Dutch village for the elderly that I wish we could duplicate here. Our system isn't always set up for a smooth final chapter of our lives. We tried placing Mom in a very high end assisted living facility for Alzheimer's patients. The result was a broken hip that left her immobile and no longer a candidate for their care. We refused to put her in a nursing home where she would be strapped to a bed and have her depends changed every two hours. So we brought her home.
I don't want to leave my children with the responsibility of taking care of me if I develop dementia. I don't want to do that to myself, either. I'm willing to take the necessary steps to control every factor that is within my reach. Keep Sharp will be an important tool in my box.
Gupta says that it takes just 12 weeks of diving in with each of the 5 pillars to make a real difference. I'll be back in 12 weeks to update my review.
But first know this shocking fact: Alzheimer's disease takes root in the brain as much as 30 years before symptoms appear. Even though you have no idea if this is happening to your own brain, you can do things beginning as early as your 20s and 30s to help delay it and lessen the severity of symptoms.
Written by CNN medical correspondent and neurosurgeon Sanja Gupta, M.D., this very readable book is a how-to guide to keeping your brain as healthy as it can be. And it's all done through lifestyle—from eating right to sleeping right to moving right. Think of it as nature's "drugs."
After explaining in laymen's terms the rudiments of brain science and memory, Gupta offers realistic strategies you can adopt as part of your lifestyle to keep your brain sharp. These are specific and doable, although some (such as breaking a sweat every day) may require self-discipline and big changes in your daily routine. Doing all of these things for your brain has the double whammy of benefiting your heart, too. He also brilliantly addresses so many common myths—that are just not true—about brain health.
Gupta also offers a specific 12-week plan for putting all the ideas presented earlier in the book into a workable daily routine of healthy habits, some of which may be new and others of which you may already be doing. It's just so exciting that we don't have to sit by and dread the possibility of dementia; we can actually DO something to help prevent it.
Finally, the book ends with a blunt discussion of what a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease means for not only the patient, but also the family and caregivers. There are valuable tips on how to talk to your children now about what you would want if you are ever diagnosed with dementia.
Bonus: The book is packed with lots of fun facts. This was my favorite, since I am 67: No matter how old you are, you're likely still getting better at some things. Find out the one brain skill that peaks in our early 70s!
One picky complaint: A better editor might have helped. On too many occasions, Gupta teases something he will explain later in the book as if we need some tricky ploy to keep us reading. I found that annoying and unnecessary.
This is a fascinating book. Take it seriously, and your life—and brain—could radically change for the better.
Top reviews from other countries
A mild criticism is that the book is very USA centric and so less useful for other countries. Still, there are plenty of resources on Alzheimer’s and the various forms of dementia and available support available online.
The book ends on an optimistic note. With appropriate activities and diet it should be possible to mitigate the impact of dementia and Alzheimer’s even if you have the misfortune to be diagnosed with these illnesses. The book also considers the impact on caregivers and the families of sufferers. It makes strong recommendations for sufferers to provide instructions for their care and end of life.
Certainly worth a read.